The screen is black as the gentle piano of "Run This Town (E.S. Posthumus Remix)" by Jay-Z, Rihanna, and E.S. Posthumus begins to play. The spotlight lights up slowly, the screen monochrome. We see an empty locker room, with an empty chair sitting in the middle of it. The scene is serene.
The scene switches to the Epicenter Ring, empty as well.
The sun is shown in twice the normal speed, racing towards the horizon, hiding from the coming war.
Feel it comin’ in the air
We look down the entrance ramp of the Epicenter now, down to the ring.
Slow motion images of the fans cheering their heads off.
It’s a dangerous love affair
An image of someone, the camera distorts just who, screaming back to the fans as they enter the arena.
We finally see someone we recognize, as Trey Willett stands on the turnbuckle, staring out at the sea of fans.
The music ERUPTS as we see Azrael Goeren SHATTER a lightsaber of Cronos Diamante"s head.
Eryk Masters: OH MY GOD!
The camera shows Kenji Yamada, Adrian Corazon, and Isaac Entragian standing in the shadows, glaring back at the camera.
Osbourne Kilminster glares the camera down as he stands behind Sinnocence, who is grinding her fist into her open hand.
Ron Barker is shown, obliterating Tanya Black with the Perfection.
Other Guy: This could do it!
Cade Sydal is up next, taking Azraith DeMitri down with the Ninjaguiri.
Eryk Masters: Come on!
The Bad Ass Brotherhood flashes on screen, holding the SHOOT Project World Tag Team Championship belts high in the air.
Donovan King is shown, looking up to the spotlight, his eyes filled with hope and his hands are open.
X-Calibur drops Rocky Stellar while Azrael Goeren looks on with the X-TERMINATOR.
Other Guy: WHAT?!!!!
Back to runnin’ circles ’round niggas
The Gunslingers stand in the spotlight, sneering at the camera. It quickly switches to Thomas Manchester Black, shaking his head as he loosens his wrists. Quickly, the camera switches to Mike Dexter, bloody, holding the Laws of Survival Championship belt which was just buckled around his waist.
Eryk Masters: …this is YOUR moment!
We cut back to Jaime Alejandro with the Iron Fist Championship on his shoulder, his arm curled around his title like a proud champion in the spotlight. We cut to Lennox Ferguson being SPEARED THROUGH BARBED-WIRE by Isaac Entragian!
Other Guy: NO WAY!
Jester Smiles is up next, hooking the Last Laugh on Azraith.
Other Guy: WHAT!?!??
Eryk Masters: NO!!!
As quickly as the images hit, they black out again as the music dies down. The piano returns…and Rihanna"s voice does as well.
Feel it comin’ in the air
We come back to Trey Willett, his head down, sitting in the corner of the ring. He looks up to the camera, and a confident smirk slides across his face.
Hear the screams from everywhere
Dave Dymond stands in the spotlight, his monster Akuma Satsui oddly bleeding and grinning evilly in the background.
The screen flashes with the screen as we see Isaac Entragian hitting the White Death on Azrael Goeren onto Lennox Ferguson, strapped to a gurney.
Donovan King is shown, the Carolina Crossface locked on tightly against Azraith.
Victory’s within the mile
Pyro rains down as the silhouette of someone standing at the entrance to the Epicenter is shown, clutching the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship in his hand.
Cronos Diamante destroys Donovan King with a chair as King is tied up in the ropes.
Cade Sydal is shown in the spotlight, his arms outstretched as he laughs cockily.
The music hits its crescendo, we see Corazon lording over a fallen Trey, we see Frontline II TURBO entering the ring, the image of Crazy Boy nodding his head to the camera, VAS hamming it up in the spotlight, The UK Dragon pinning Jaime Alejandro quickly cut with Johnny Patriot standing as nobly as he can in the spotlight.
Who’s gonna run this town tonight…
The pyro continues to rain down as the silhouette slowly lifts the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Championship belt up, the images of each and every Soldier is shown as quickly as possible before finally settling one last time…on the World Heavyweight Championship, the music dying down.
The cameras cut to the ring where Samantha Coil stands ready, raising the microphone to her mouth.
Samanth Coil: The following contest is set for one fall with a 15-minute time limit, and it is a Triple Threat match!
The Johannesburg fans erupt with cheers as "I Wupped Batman’s Ass" by Wesley Willis cues up, producing Lunatikk Crippler from behind the curtain. Luna jumps up and down a few times, pointing to every section of the crowd while doing so.
Samantha Coil: Introducing first, he weighs in at 238 pounds and stands at 6-foot-1…
Luna sprints down the ramp, slapping as many hands reaching over the crowd barricade as he can before he slides into the ring, rolling right to his feet before bounding onto the middle turnbuckle, screaming indecipherably while pumping both of his fists, drawing the crowd into a frenzy.
Samantha Coil: Hailing from South Bend, Indiana, he is "The Whole Fucked Up Show"…
Luna steps off of the middle turnbuckle and bounds across the ring, jumping onto the middle buckle of the opposite corner and doing the same routine.
Samantha Coil: …THE LUNATIKK CRIPPLER!!
"I Wupped Batman’s Ass" fades into Linkin Park’s "Points of Authority," the crowd’s cheers turning into scathing boos. From behind the curtain walks Stephen Rawlings, a smug look of disdain upon his face.
Samantha Coil: Introducing next, he weighs in at 215 pounds and stans at 6 feet tall…
Rawlings calmly walks down the ramp, his eyes never leaving the immediate vicinity of Luna in the ring. A few brave fans reach over the barricade to touch him, prompting Rawlings to raise a fist in their direction, causing them to retract in quick fear. Stephen shakes his head and casually strolls up the ring steps, standing still on the apron as he motions for referee Danny Heflin to make sure Luna is held back.
Samantha Coil: Hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan, he is a former LEGACY World Heavyweight champion…the self-proclaimed "Mr. Future Champ"…
Rawlings wipes his feet on the apron before stepping between the ropes, wiping what little sweat exists on his brow and flinging it towards the Lunatikk Crippler.
Samantha Coil: …STEPHEN RAWLINGS!!!
"Points of Authority" dies down, replaced by Bring Me The Horizon’s "Crucify Me." A good portion of the crowd pops as Crazy Boy steps out from behind the curtain, his long blonde hair wet and hanging in front of his face.
Samantha Coil: Introducing next, weighing in tonight at 227 pounds and standing at 6 feet, 2 inches tall, he hails from Biloxi, Mississippi…
Crazy Boy sulks down the ramp, reaching his hands out to meet those of some fans with indifference before flinging his hair out of his face with a quick whip of his neck, his eyes piercing the ring.
Samantha Coil: He is a former LEGACY World Heavyweight champion…he is the Crazy One…
CB hops up onto the apron in a quick bound before immediately slingshotting himself over the top rope, landing on his feet, and marching into the center of the ring and pointing at both Stephen and Luna.
Samantha Coil: …CRAZY BOY!!!
"Crucify Me" dies down as Heflin pats CB down, instructing all three men to take corners. He calls for Mark Kendrick to ring the bell…
DING DING DING!!!
…which prompts CB and Luna to walk to the center of the ring. Rawlings, however, stays back in his corner, leaning up against the top ropes while feigning a yawn.
Eryk Masters: Look at Rawlings, not even bothering to join in.
Other Guy: Would you? Think about it: you’re in a match with two men who are both just as technically proficient as you are, only one has a severe screw loose and the other lost that screw a long time ago.
Luna and CB share no words, their gazes both fixed on the third man. Rawlings motions for them to start without him before cracking a smile and feigning another yawn.
Eryk Masters: Which one is which?
Other Guy: It changes by the minute.
CB and Luna finally look at each other, their eyes meeting, and a nod by Luna sends both men barrelling into Rawlings in the corner, clubbing him down with fists and boots as the fans cheer them on. Heflin rushes over to the beatdown, trying to force them back, but the brief melee ends on its own as CB turns his attention to Luna, nailing him with a pair of right hands before whipping him into the ropes.
Eryk Masters: Luna off the ropes, he ducks a lariat attempt, ducks a back elbow…DROPKIIIIICK…NO!!
CB catches Luna’s feet and steps in as he spreads them, dropping Luna to the canvas with a quick spinebuster, immediately hooking both legs and flipping over into a jacknife pin.
Luna kicks out, but it’s for naught as Rawlings breaks the pinfall attempt via a basement dropkick to the side of CB’s head, the momentum causing Rawlings to land leg-first across Luna’s face as well.
Other Guy: A BEAUTIFUL basement dropkick from Stephen Rawlings! Did you see that? It was EPIC!
Eryk Masters: It was sound strategy, too, as it looks like he was able to nail a leg drop onto the Lunatikk Crippler with it.
Crip rolls off to the apron, holding his mouth, and Rawlings drops a pair of knees into CB’s head before bringing him to his feet, nailing him with a knife-edge chop…
Rawlings nails a pair of rights to CB’s jaw before hitting the ropes, looking for a running lariat. CB ducks underneath his arm and locks on a rear waistlock, but Rawlings breaks it and reverses it into one of his own. Stephen lifts up CB for a German suplex but CB rolls forward into a Victory Roll.
Other Guy: Yes! Rawlings kicks out at 2!
Crazy Boy tries to bring Rawlings to his feet but eats a European uppercut for it, the impact from Stephen’s bicep to his jaw sending him back a few steps. Rawlings follows in with a back spin kick to CB’s ribs, doubling him over, and then fires off a quick snap suplex before floating over with a lateral press, driving his forearm into CB’s face for added emphasis.
Crazy Boy kicks out just after 2.
Eryk Masters: Both men up to their feet…chop to the chest by Rawlings…
Stephen whips CB into the nearest corner as Danny Heflin checks on Luna, who spits some blood into his hand.
Other Guy: Well, I guess that happenstance leg drop from Rawlings a minute ago gave poor Lunatikk Crippler a busted lip, eh?
Rawlings charges in after CB, raising his arm mid-sprint as if to go for a corner clothesline, but eats the sole of Crazy Boy’s black boot instead. Rawlings takes a step back, dazed, and CB pushes himself to a seated position on the top rope, reaching out and pulling Rawlings in before locking on a front facelock. He raises an arm, spinning it in a circle…
Eryk Masters: Tornado DDT…
…and then takes off, spinning around 180 degrees with Rawlings in tow…
Other Guy: …NOPE!!
…but Rawlings continues the spin another 180 degrees before whipping CB back, planting him with a picture-perfect Northern Lights Suplex and bridging his back. Danny Heflin, however, is still checking on Luna and his busted lip.
Other Guy: Dammit, Heflin, pay attention to the match!
Eryk Masters: He’s making sure that Luna still feels well enough to compete!
Other Guy: But Rawlings is about to win!
Heflin finally turns around to see Rawlings still bridging the Northern Lights, diving in to count.
Rawlings raises a leg into the air, looking for added leverage.
Crazy Boy forces one of his arms out of the hold and connects with a crossface-like blind punch to Rawlings’s ribcage, forcing him to break the pin attempt. CB rolls to his side so as to avoid confusion, and Heflin only holds two fingers up into the air. Both men rise to their feet at the same time, but this time it’s Crazy Boy on the offensive with a quick barrage of forearms to Stephen’s head that force him down to a knee.
Eryk Masters: Crazy Boy hits the ropes…KENKA KICK TO THE SKULL!!
Rawlings drops like a sack of bricks and CB dives down, hooking a leg.
3…LUNATIKK CRIPPLER WITH THE SAVE!!
Other Guy: Thank God for Luna tonight!
Luna brings CB to his feet before snapping off a few right hands, the last one so impactful it turns CB around entirely. Luna locks him into a Full Nelson before lifting him up off of the mat and dropping down to a seated position, driving the small of CB’s back into the canvas. He breaks the Full Nelson upon impact and reaches forward, hooking CB’s legs so that he has him forced into a Victory Roll-like pinning predicament.
Rawlings with the save – again – with a snapping soccer kick to Luna’s spine, the snap from the impact of Stephen’s leg and Luna’s back echoing throughout the arena.
Eryk Masters: Ouch! That just HAS to hurt!
Other Guy: Your powers of deduction are legendary, young padawan.
Eryk Masters: What?
Other Guy: Nevermind. Oh, look! Stuff’s happening!
Rawlings drills a pair of forearms into the side of Luna’s head before bringing him to his feet. He fires off a quick Belly-to-Belly Suplex to LC, the impact sending Luna sliding out of the ring and to the ringside floor. Rawlings looks over the top rope at him as Crazy Boy slowly staggers to his feet, shrugs, and then turns around, meeting CB with a vicious knife-edge chop.
Lunatikk Crippler pulls himself up with the apron and crawls back into the ring, holding himself steady with the middle rope as he holds the back of his head. Meanwhile, Stephen fires off a pair of right hands into CB’s face before hitting him with a roundhouse kick to the chest, stunning him just enough to send him into the far corner.
Eryk Masters: Whip to the corner by Rawlings…
Stephen charges in but gets halted with a surprise rear waistlock by Luna, followed quickly by a stiff high angle German Suplex. The fans? They pop, of course.
Other Guy: We may need a medic after that one alone!
Luna gets to his feet and drags Rawlings to his feet, signalling to CB for something.
Other Guy: Oh, this isn’t fair! Rawlings is one man against what looks like two united headcases!
CB nods and steps out onto the apron, rubbing the red skin on his chest as he slowly starts climbing to the top rope. Lunatikk quickly doubles Rawlings over and whips him up onto his shoulders for a powerbomb, charging towards the corner Crazy Boy is climbing and throwing Rawlings back-first into CB, sending the Crazy One flying out to the floor and crashing into the barricade.
Eryk Masters: OH MY…!!!
Other Guy: Wow…talk about using your opponent as a weapon…
Stephen pulls himself to his feet in the corner, holding his back, and Luna eggs him on from the center as a few ringside personnel check on Crazy Boy. Rawlings looks over the top rope at Crazy Boy, bewildered, and then turns his attention back to Luna, who waves him out.
Eryk Masters: It looks like Stephen’s just as confused about what just happened as Crazy Boy is out on the floor!
Rawlings shakes his head and charges towards TWFUS, looking for a lariat, but Luna ducks under his arm and takes him down, locking his arm between his legs and looking for a Crossface.
Eryk Masters: Bitchified!! Bitchified!! The Lunatikk Crippler’s looking to make Stephen Rawlings Bitchified!!
Rawlings gets an arm up in between Luna’s, preventing the move from being locked on, and then rises to a knee before rolling into LC, forcing the move into more of an inside cradle.
Luna barely manages to break it up before rising to his feet, meeting the business end of a pair of boots to the face from Rawlings.
Other Guy: I think Stephen Rawlings may be one of the most criminally underrated masters of the ring that SHOOT Project has ever had the fortune to witness.
Rawlings knees Luna in the gut to double him over, stands beside him, and snaps off a quick Side Russian Legsweep to the canvas. He doesn’t cover, though, or even look for a submission hold, btu rather brings the Lunatikk Crippler back up to his feet and drags him towards the nearest corner, sending him down with a second Side Russian Legsweep, this time into the turnbuckles. Luna holds the back of his neck, it having connected with the middle turnbuckle, and tries to sit up, but Rawlings brings him to his feet before taking him down with a Fisherman’s Suplex, bridging his back with one leg in the air for added leverage.
Eryk Masters: But the Crippler kicks out again!
Rawlings sits up, holding up three fingers to Heflin, who holds up two, which, in turn, is met by only one from Stephen. Heflin shakes his head and circles the two men, doing little more than look on (ie. his job) as Rawlings drills a pair of fists into Luna’s head prior to bringing him back to his feet.
Other Guy: Look at Stephen Rawlings! Just…just LOOK at him! He’s been in almost complete control of this match since it started, and now? He’s taking it right to a man that so many have held in high regard for years!
Rawlings goes to whip Lunatikk Crippler into the ropes but Luna hangs on, using Rawlings’ own arm to bring him in…
Eryk Masters: You were saying?
…and then holds both hands in front of his face. Rawlings stops, confused, and Luna winds back for a big right hand, prompting Stephen to hold his arm up to block it. Not a wise idea, it seems, as LC quickly stomps on Stephen’s foot before poking him in the eye, drawing a round of applause from the crowd. Luna then grabs both of Stephen’s nipples and twists them, drawing a high-pitched yelp of pain from Rawlings.
Other Guy: What…what the hell is this?!
Eryk Masters: The Purple Nurple! The Purple Nurple!
Heflin checks on the hold, possibly inquiring about its very legality, but decides to allow it, asking Rawlings the all-important question.
Danny Heflin: Do you give up?! Do you want to submit?!
Stephen Rawlings: NOOOOOOOO!!!!
A string of indecipherable obscenities follows out of Rawlings’ mouth before Crazy Boy scurries onto the apron and springboards himself off of the top rope, connecting with a dual clothesline to both of his opponents, breaking the Purple Nurple and knocking both men down.
Eryk Masters: HUGE surprise springboard clothesline from Crazy Boy!
CB dives on top of Luna, hooking a leg.
Other Guy: And the Lunatikk Crippler kicks out at 2!
CB takes it in stride, however, and grabs Rawlings’ legs, flipping over into a jacknife pin attempt.
Eryk Masters: And now Rawlings kicks out!!
Crazy Boy rolls away and leans against the ropes, holding his lower back, and a round of applause builds from the nosebleed section to the front row.
Eryk Masters: Listen to these people here tonight!
Other Guy: I’m trying to, but some jackass with a fake tan keeps yelling in my ear.
Eryk Masters: …rude…
Rawlings crawls over to the corner and pulls himself to his feet with the ropes as Luna does the same opposite the ring. All three men rise to their feet, staring at each other and catching their breaths before staggering out and into the center of the ring. Rawlings drills a forearm into Crazy Boy who responds with one of his own, dropping Stephen to a knee. CB goes for one on Luna, but LC blocks it and drills a straight right into CB’s face, knocking him down to the mat. Rawlings springs up to his feet and lays in right hands to Luna, rocking him back into the ropes as CB rises to his feet.
Eryk Masters: Crazy Boy joins the fray…
Other Guy: …saving Lunatikk from another vicious beating from Stephen Rawlings…
CB and Luna double up on Rawlings with right hands, rocking him up against the ropes with nowhere to go, and then both whip him across the ring. Stephen rebounds as Crazy Boy and Lunatikk look for a double clothesline, but Rawlings ducks underneath and pivots quick, nailing a right hand to the back of both of their heads. Rawlings shoves them together and locks on a half rear waistlock to both men…
Eryk Masters: Awww…what are we going to see here…!!
Rawlings quickly throws both men back with loose Back Suplexes, both men crashing on their shoulders and necks. Rawlings sits up, breathing heavy from the amount of effort he’s just exerted, and then slowly rises to his feet. He throws his hands out and quickly regains his composure, shaking his head.
Other Guy: He’s going to end this right now!
Rawlings grabs Lunatikk by the hair and brings him up to his feet, stunning him with a pair of rights. He hooks him for a Vertical Suplex, grabbing a good hold of his waistband, but Lunatikk fires off a pair of shots to his ribs, forcing him to break it up as Crazy Boy crawls behind Rawlings and rises to a knee.
Eryk Masters: Lunatikk reverses the suplex attempt…off the ropes…!
Luna leaps up into Stephen, hooking him around the head…
Eryk Masters: LUNATIKK SWEET…!!!
Other Guy: NO!!
…but Crazy Boy rushes up to his feet and catches the Crippler, dropping him into a vicious Backbreaker. Rawlings shows his gratitude by hitting the ropes and drilling a knee into CB’s face, stunning him, before hooking him for the same Vertical Suplex, lifting him up high.
Other Guy: He’s looking for the Finishing Move…!
Rawlings twists CB to position him for the Screwdriver, but CB flips out of it and lands on his feet next to Rawlings before drilling a back kick into his ribs, doubling him over. CB quickly slides a thumb across his throat before locking Rawlings into a front facelock, lifting him up vertically before turning around in place.
Eryk Masters: CRAZY SLAM…!!!
Other Guy: HERE COMES LUNATIKK CRIPPLER!!
Luna surprises both men by nailing a vicious Spear into Rawlings’ back, the force also knocking CB down. All three men collapse from the impact and roll away from one another, with Luna lying on his side and CB rolling onto the apron and Rawlings lying face-down on the canvas.
Eryk Masters: Lunatikk Crippler from out of NOWHERE with the Blood Drive to both men!!
Heflin checks all three men, none of them showing signs of movement beyond their current positions.
Danny Heflin: 1!
Luna rolls over onto his stomach and tries to get to a knee, but can’t quite make it. Crazy Boy grabs the middle rope, just holding it, and Rawlings lifts a knee up, still barely showing any sign of consciousness beyond that.
Danny Heflin: 4!
Rawlings, somehow, grabs the middle rope and pulls himself up with it, leaning against the ropes to keep himself standing.
Danny Heflin: 6!
Crazy Boy pulls himself to a knee on the apron as Lunatikk Crippler quickly rushes up behind Rawlings, catching him with a school boy.
Other Guy: Rawlings kicks out…!
Eryk Masters: …but Lunatikk Crippler holds on!
Luna easily transitions the school boy into an Anklelock, immediately dropping down and grapevining Rawlings’ captured leg. He wrenches the hold in, keeping himself close to the ropes so that Rawlings is trapped near the center of the ring.
Danny Heflin: Do you give up?!
Eryk Masters: But here comes Crazy Boy!!
Crazy Boy forces himself to the top turnbuckle and soars off with an Elbow Drop across Luna’s chest, breaking the Anklelock. CB immediately recovers and brings Rawlings up to his feet, nailing a quick succession of chops to the chest.
Fans: WOOO!!! WOOO!!! WOOO!!! WOOO!!!
Crazy Boy hits the ropes and comes back with a Big Boot attempt but Rawlings catches his leg and nails a perfect Dragon Screw, sending CB down to the mat. Rawlings turns his attention back to Luna, placing a boot squarely into his face, and then brings him up to his feet, whipping him into the corner.
Other Guy: Rawlings brings Luna up top…
Rawlings steps up onto the second rope but gets met with a quick headbutt to the skull, sending him back down to the mat. Lunatikk hops off of the top turnbuckle and hooks Stephen, pivoting quick and dropping him to the mat with an Exploder Suplex.
Eryk Masters: Did you see the ANGLE on that?!
Rawlings clutches at his neck as Luna crawls over to look for a cover, but Crazy Boy surprises him with a kick to the top of his skull.
Eryk Masters: BEAUTIFUL Crown Kick…and the Crazy One’s bringing him up to his feet!
Crazy Boy lifts Lunatikk Crippler up for a Vertical Suplex, spins, and is about to drop him with a Falcon Arrow to finish off the Crazy Slam, but Luna kicks his feet and reverses the momentum, quickly scooping Crazy Boy upside down and dropping him down with a brutal Tombstone.
Other Guy: And he just PLANTED Crazy Boy with the Cross!!
Luna, exhausted, can barely even manage to rise to his knees to try to cover CB, so Rawlings rushing in with fists and boots catches him entirely off-guard.
Other Guy: YES! YES! STEPHEN RAWLINGS IS A HOUSE ON FIRE NOW!!
Rawlings forces Lunatikk up to his feet, completely ruining him with a barrage of rights and lefts and elbows and forearms and knees and kicks, before a stiff back spin kick to the ribs drops Luna back to his knees.
Eryk Masters: It very well looks like this could be the end of the match right here.
Other Guy: He’s looking for the Finishing Move again…!!
Rawlings locks Luna for a Vertical Suplex and lifts him up again, turning him belly-to-belly to look for the Screwdriver, but Luna’s not out of the fight just yet as he kicks his legs wildly, throwing Rawlings off balance just long enough to slide out and bring him down, locking Stephen’s arms between his (LC’s) legs and cinching in the Crossface.
Eryk Masters: BITCHIFIED!! BITCHIFIED!! LUNATIKK CRIPPLER’S GOT IT LOCKED IN AGAIN!!!
Rawlings fights to try to reach the ropes as Crazy Boy crawls towards both men, desperately reaching out, but Stephen’s not close enough and CB isn’t strong enough to break it up, drawing a quick tapping by Stephen Rawlings. Heflin calls for Mark Kendrick to ring the bell…
DING DING DING!!
…and Lunatikk Crippler breaks the hold, rolling out onto the apron. Heflin reaches through the ropes and holds Luna’s hand up in victory, the crowd’s cheers nigh deafening.
Samantha Coil: Your winner of the match…LUNATIKK CRIPPLER!!!
"I Wupped Batman’s Ass" hits the PA again, nearly drowned out by the vociferous crowd.
Eryk Masters: Wow…what a match!
Other Guy: It was pretty damn good…
Luna falls to the floor, using the apron to keep himself up, and slowly makes it to the barricade, slapping a few hands before he slowly makes his way to the ramp, turning around and dropping to a knee before smiling at Crazy Boy and Rawlings in the ring.
The twang of a single guitar string cuts through the silence like a hot knife through butter…
Then, suddenly, a flash of light light reveals a pair of eyes… one green and one milky white…
Fire for the hills, pick up your feet, and let’s go.
Another flash of light shows a a pair of tall, black boots being lifted from the ground – one after the other, toward the screen.
Head for the hills pick up steel on your way.
Another flash of light shows a gloved hand with fingers slowly curling around a black ASP.
And when you find a piece of them in your site…
A similar flash reveals a swirl of black trench coat from behind.
Fire at will, don’t you waste no time…
A video clip of a man wearing all-white MMA attire spinning, long black hair flying behind him, before landing a VICIOUS kick into the face of younger-looking Osbourne Kilminster, sending the man to his hands and knees.
Another thought of the unaware…
Another clip with the same long-haired man slapping Ben Jackman across the face to a roar of shock from the crowd.
Addiction in disguise.
A black-clad man with the same hair has a fist slammed into the gut of X-Calibur before lifting the SHOOT Project star up into the air with a HUGE rolling backdrop, and as X-Calibur sails over the mans’s head, we catch a glimpse of a face…
With a drop of blood
We see the ASP connecting with the face of Jaime Alejandro, dropping the SHOOT Project member to the ground.
You will take them out, for me.
Lennox Ferguson throws his head back in laughter.
Fire from the hills, pick up speed, and let’s go.
A cut back to the blackness – a flash of light showing the same boots walking forward.
Fire for real, yeah shoot to kill with no aim.
A flash of light revealing the same ASP being smacked into another glove hand… a Sephirot charm hanging from a pale-yellow neck swings back and forth.
Head for the hills, yes, eyes on the camp fire glow.
A lengthy trenchcoat curls around a pair of boots, as a long-haired figure is crouched down on an arena stage… awash with purple light.
Creep up there like a white mink hiding in snow.
Then, the figure, extends his arms on both sides, the ASP quickly jutting out to its full length, before he stands up… the trench coat cloaking him like a bat, or a gargoyle folding its wings
And outta black a figure forms a soldier in the sky.
…slowly raising his head as thousands of flash bulbs go off.
With a drop of love, trying to set you free.
Each of the flashes throwing light over the growing smile creeping over the face of The Black Phoenix…
Run for the hills, pick up your feet and let’s go.
The video feed cuts to the back where Lennox Ferguson, looking surprisingly out of character wearing a suit and tie, is whistling and… skipping? down the hallway of the Coca Cola Arena with a white piece of paper in his hands.
Following closely behind him is Ichiro Seppuku, his head bowed at a slight angle, a hint of a smile on his lips as he brushes some of his black hair out of his face.
Suddenly, Ferguson stops and turns to Ichiro who cocks his head upwards.
Lennox Ferguson: "How do you think they’ll take it?"
Ichiro’s hint of a smile broadens mischievously.
Ichiro Seppuku: "Hard to say… but it’ll be fun to watch, I’m sure"
Lennox returns the smile and quickly turns on his heel, bringing up a fist to the door and slowly rapping out the tune to "Poker Face" by Lady Gaga, which gets a laugh-out-loud response from Ichiro
Before he can get more than a line in, the door swings wide open to reveal Isaac Entragian, who looks down at Lennox and then up at Ichiro with a genuine look of distain
Lennox Ferguson smiles and looks up at Isaac.
Lennox Ferguson: "Ah! Isaac… just the loveable Twilight reject I was looking for."
Entragian smirks, shaking his head. He leans one arm along the doorframe, Kenji stepping up to stand at his side, his eyes snapping to Ichiro who just cocks his head backwards in acknowledgement.
Kenji neither smiles nor grimaces at the sight of Ichiro and Lennox. He simply looks on at them, neutral at best.
Isaac Entragian: I don’t think we ordered Girl Scout cookies, did we Kenji? Good to see you though regardless, Lennox. Would you like you head split open now, or later?
Lennox Ferguson: Actually that’s just the thing I came to talk to you about Isaac. And you too Kenji. Oh, and if the AC is on back there you might want to bring him front and center as well.
Entragian’s eyes narrow, his head cocking slightly to the left.
Only Kenji’s eyes move, almost trying to wrap themselves around to see behind him without moving his head.
Kenji: You aren’t in a demanding position, friends. I’d suggest you speak your peace… while able.
Lennox just lets his smile grow, looking from Kenji to Isaac back to Kenji. Looking directly at the SCAR member while ignoring what he just said.
Lennox Ferguson: Not here then? Shame. And Ichiro had such a nice card to give him – signed by Azraith and everything.
Entragian leans a little closer, his razor-teeth bared as his patience wears then.
Isaac Entragian: If your blue-haired boyfriend wants Corazon, he’ll have to find him later, he’s taking care of some business. Now did you come here only to show me that shit-eating grin, boy? If you’re keeping score, then you should know, you have NOTHING to grin about.
Lennox just keeps smiling.
Kenji’s eyes immediately flash, his mouth twisting. Emotion, rage, everything he hadn’t shown since arriving in SHOOT, erupting on his face. Kenji pushes in front of Issac and literally reaches out and wraps his hand around Lennox’s throat.
Kenji: Not a wise name to saying in front of me, boy. Not wise at all.
Now a shit-eating grin appears on Ichiro Seppuku’s face which Kenji can’t see.
Lennox Ferguson: I would get your hands off of me, right now you slanty-eyed fucker if you like your job here in SHOOT… and not being anally raped by a skinhead in an orange jumpsuit.
Kenji’s grip tightens.
Kenji: I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you.
Entragian watches while smiling, merely leaning back against the doorframe with his arms crossed, keeping a special eye on Ichiro in case he decides to get frisky.
Lennox Ferguson: "If you’re hard of hearing… maybe you’d do better at reading."
Ferguson holds up the folded piece of white paper so it’s just inside Kenji’s peripheral vision.
Kenji doesn’t even look at it.
Kenji: Oh I saw it in your hands, boy. I know what a restraining order looks like. My only question is…what makes you think I care? You think that slip of paper is going to save you? You think a night in jail is going to stop us? Do you think even getting FIRED is going to stop us? TELL ME.
Entragian’s pale hand immediately shoots out, snatching the paper from Ox’s hand. His eyes scan the text, and then his looks up, literally floored. Finally he chuckles, a HUGE grin on his face.
Isaac Entragian: Seriously Ox, I knew I fucked your life up, but I didn’t know it was THAT bad. Raise up that dress shirt, I want to see how YELLOW your belly is right now…
Lennox keeps his gaze on Kenji, smiling, almost daring Kenji to hit him.
Lennox Ferguson: "It’s still more color than yours will ever have"
Kenji lets go of Lennox and turns his back completely on them both.
Kenji: Pathetic. This is what you brought to our door, Ichiro? A restraining order and false bravado? Get out of here. Your destruction has no meaning.
Entragian favors Lennox with a sarcastic smile, as if to say "that’s cute." Then very slowly, he pops the restraining order into his mouth, chews it to SHREDS with his teeth, and then spits the whole saliva-covered thing down on the floor next to Lennox’s shoe.
Isaac Entragian: Thanks, Lennox. Is that all, then? Is the coward’s errand over and done with for the night?
Lennox nods and then reaches into his pocket.
Lennox Ferguson: One last thing though.
He pulls out three black lucky rabbits feet on keychain links holding them up.
Lennox Ferguson: Something to remember me by.
Kenji has already walked completely into the locker room, into pitch blackness. Only his voice echoes now.
Kenji: Show them out, Issac.
Before Kenji gets out of earshot – Ichiro finally speaks up.
Silence, then Kenji voice can barely be heard.
Ichiro Seppuku: "Funny thing about that restraining order Kenji… it only applies to Lennox"
Kenji: It wouldn’t matter if it didn’t.
Ichiro Seppuku: So I’ll be seeing you around then? Old friend?
There is no response from Kenji as Entragian politely plucks the rabbit’s feet out of Ferguson’s hand, looking at them for a moment before tossing them over his shoulder indifferently.
Isaac Entragian: But Lennox, I already have a souvenir!
He raises up the Iron Fist Title, still soaked in the blood of The Ox, and carefully drapes it over one shoulder. His head leans down, inhaling deeply of the old blood.
Isaac Entragian: Fresh enough for me.
Lennox looks down at the title and then back up to Isaac.
Lennox Ferguson: "Better hold on to it then. It’ll be last you get."
Entragian simply snarls, hatred burning in his gaze.
Entragian grants both Ox & Ichiro one final glance, taking a moment to wink at Lennox mockingly before he slams the door shut in their faces.
Lennox steps back and turns around to look at Ichiro.
The two of them stare at each other for a second before both bust out laughing, clutching their stomachs as they stalk away from the door and the video feed cuts away.
The intro guitar of the Rolling Stones’ “Time Is On My Side” plays in the arena as the lights begin to strobe. As the lyrics kick in, Jacob Mephisto walks out with his arms held out to his sides. He has a cheshire cat smile on his face and appears to be in quite the good mood.
Samantha Coil: The following contest is scheduled for ONE FALL! Introducing first, making his SHOOT Project debut, weighing in at TWO HUNDRED and SEVENTY POUNDS and hailing from NAZARETH, PENNSYLVANIA…JACOB…MEPHISTO!
He talks trash to the fans along the ramp and around the ring side area. He rolls under the bottom rope and even jaw jacks at the referee for a few seconds until his music dies down.
Other Guy: Well, I can’t say we know a whole lot about Jacob Mephisto, but he comes into this match incredibly confident in his abilities.
Eryk Masters: We’ll see tonight if he can back up his big words with equally big action.
Other Guy: That was REAL clever Eryk.
FUCK THE AMERICAN DREAM!
“The American Dream” by Walls of Jericho hits over the PA system, and while the Coca-Cola Dome remains fairly silent, a few fans are actually cheering. Alex Cruz emerges from the back, once again wearing an unbuttoned, sleeveless hooded t-shirt, and the hood is up, but this time, he holds his hands up and cracks a small grin. He walks to the ring, high fiving a few fans, but keeping his eyes locked on the ring and Mephisto.
Samantha Coil: And his opponent, now residing in LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, he weighs in at ONE HUNDRED and SEVENTY FIVE pounds…ALEX…CRUZ!
Alex removes his hooded vest and leaves it on the ring steps. He walks up the steps and stands on the apron, staring down his opponent. The camera switches to Jacob, who has lost the grin, and now just glares vilely at Alex. Alex leaps over the top turnbuckle and he walks to the center of the ring. Mephisto does the same, and they both stand nose to nose, glaring holes into one another.
Eryk Masters: The size disparity is made very clear when they stand side by side. Jacob Mephisto is six inches taller and outweighs Cruz by almost one hundred pounds.
Other Guy: Size doesn’t always matter, but when you are THAT much bigger…I gotta think it does; at least a little.
Austin Linam signals for the bell, but neither man even flinches. They both stand nose to nose, both men just glaring holes into each other’s foreheads. Finally, both men step back, and they begin to circle.
Eryk Masters: I think they were both trying to make a point there. Neither man has any fear of the other.
Other Guy: Mephisto has no reason to fear Cruz, but a little healthy fear of Mephisto might benefit Alex.
Alex Cruz hits the ropes and tries for a Yakuza Kick, but Mephisto easily dodges and sweeps the leg. He grabs a hold of the leg he sweeped just as Cruz falls and instantly turns, looking for Mephisto’s Method, but Cruz is able to push him away with his free foot. Alex Cruz gets up quickly, but Mephisto is on him quick. He drops an elbow on the back of Cruz and grabs him, wrapping his arms around the waist of Alex Cruz and lifting him, before dropping him with a modified Oklahoma Slam! Mephisto floats over Alex Cruz and attempts to locks in an anaconda vice! Alex Cruz is close to the ropes and he manages to get his foot on the ropes, but Jacob keeps the hold anyway! Austin Linam begins to count!
Mephisto releases the hold. He stands up, slaps Cruz in the face, and then backs off as he is admonished by Austin Linam.
Other Guy: No respect being shown by Jacob Mephisto at all, and almost no offense being shown by Alex Cruz.
Eryk Masters: We knew that Mephisto had the technical edge coming in, and that much is very clear right now. Cruz needs to get some of his brawl on, or he is going to have some part of his body broken real soon.
Alex Cruz is up, and he begins to circle again, eyeing Mephisto with the same intensity, but showing a bit more caution this time. Mephisto holds his hands up, looking for a test of strength and shooting Alex a wicked smile. Alex just flips off Mephisto and charges in. Mephisto tries to grab him, but Alex slides under Mephisto’s legs. He is up quick and he launches a high dropkick, actually catching the back of Jacob’s head! Jacob stumbles forward, but does not go down. Alex runs forward and hits a front dropkick to the back of Jacob’s knee, and this time, Mephisto goes down! Alex hits the ropes again and leaps for the lionsault, but Jacob gets his knees up! Alex hits the knees hard and bounces off of them, clutching his stomach and ribs in pain. Jacob stands up, favoring the knee that Alex dropkicked, but this does not stop him from dropping a few stomps on the ribs and stomach of Alex Cruz! He then flips Alex Cruz onto his back and drops stomps on the left leg of Alex Cruz before grabbing the left leg, lifting up, and slamming his left leg to the mat! Alex leaps up in pain and limps away, but Mephisto dashes forward and kicks the left leg out from under Alex!
Other Guy: It is very clear that the focus is on Alex’s left leg. He wants to lock in that half boston crab maneuver of his and make Cruz give up. Possibly even break that leg.
Jacob lifts Alex Cruz back up and grabs hold of the left knee. He lifts Cruz in the air and SLAMS him down with a kneebreaker, causing Cruz to bounce off his knee and collapse on the ground, clutching his left leg. Jacob again places a few more steps to the left knee before grabbing it, lifting it up, and doing a foot DDT on the left leg. Alex Cruz rolls around, clutching his knee, and Austin Linam checks to see if he would like to continue. Mephisto doesn’t give Alex Cruz time to answer as he grabs the leg again and turns him over, locking in the Half Boston Crab/Lion Tamer combo!
Eryk Masters: That’s the move he calls Mephisto’s Method, and by the look of sheer agony on Alex Cruz’s face, it doesn’t look like this match is going to go on much longer.
Alex Cruz’s eyes are wide with pain, and he searches for the nearest ropes, but unfortunately, he is center ring. He begins to crawl, though, which is difficult, considering how much weight he is having to pull, but somehow, he inches his way towards the ropes. Mephisto holds onto the hold and torques back, actually placing one of his own feet behind Alex’s head to give more leverage. Alex cries out in pain, but he keeps on fighting and keeps on moving back, somehow powering himself towards the ropes.
Eryk Masters: I don’t know how he is doing it, but he is ALMOST to the ropes.
Other Guy: Too little too late in my mind. Even if he makes it to the ropes, that leg is done. He’s not coming back from this.
Alex Cruz is reaching for the ropes, and his finger tips are on the verge of touching. He lifts back up and gives it one more leap…and he has the ropes! Austin Linam tells Mephisto to get off, but Mephisto holds on, torqueing the leg back even more! Austin Linam, for the second time in the match, begins to count.
Mephisto releases the hold, and again, Austin Linam admonishes him. Meanwhile, Alex Cruz is able to get to his feet, but he is barely able to put any weight on his leg. Mephisto grins at the weakened Alex Cruz, but Alex shows no fear. A lot of pain, but no fear. Mephisto moves forward, but Alex Cruz responds by launching himself forward, headbutting Jacob in the stomach. Alex Cruz goes to a seated position and hits a MEAN throat thrust to Jacob, causing Mephisto to stagger back. Alex Cruz gets up and hobbles his way over to Jacob, who swings wildly, missing Cruz. Cruz leaps in the air and hits a MEAN enziguiri, taking Jacob down!
Eryk Masters: A ONE-LEGGED comeback! Cruz has a lot of fight in him yet!
Other Guy: But is it enough? Can Cruz still pull off the win on one leg?
Cruz is up again. Jacob is on the ground, clutching his head. Cruz limps over and hits a front dropkick to the back of Mephisto’s head! Mephisto rolls away, in pain, and Cruz gets up and follows. He lifts Mephisto back to his feet, but Mephisto pushes Alex away! Mephisto comes in with a clothesline, but Alex dodges. As Mephisto turns around, Alex grabs the head, leaps to the ropes, leaps back…SLICED BREAD NUMBER 2!!
Eryk Masters: Cruz Control! Alex Cruz just hit the Cruz Control!
Alex looks down at Mephisto, who seems completely out of it, but he does not pin. He goes to the ropes again, leaps onto the second rope, and springboards, and hits a double knee stomp!
Alex Cruz: And that’s called Flying Death!
Alex Cruz goes for the pin this time, and Austin Linam is there with the count!
Alex Cruz rolls off, clutching his leg, but smiling!
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen, your winner, at a time of ELEVEN minutes and FORTY-TWO seconds…ALEX…CRUZ!!
Austin Linam helps Alex Cruz up, who is beaming with happiness, despite having to walk very gingerly on his leg. Alex leaves the ring and goes to the fans, high fiving the ones who are cheering.
Other Guy: How in the HELL did Mephisto mess that one up? I mean, he practically had Alex Cruz gift wrapped and delivered!
Eryk Masters: There is no quit in that young man right there, OG. No quit at all.
Mephisto sits up and he glares at Alex Cruz, shouting profanities. Cruz, however, just smiles back and, for the second time, flips Mephisto off. This elicits a few more cheers for Alex Cruz.
The shot goes to the backstage area. We see a dressing room door, with a sign reading: “Dave Dymond and Associates.”
The door opens a crack, and the two men known as Damage Control emerge. As always, the huge bodyguards are dressed identically. One man looks down the hall in one direction, while the other looks in the other direction.
Satisfied, they turn and open the door all the way.
Dave Dymond appears, looking nervous. Dymond looks both ways, and then looks at Damage Control skeptically.
“The coast is clear? No sign of Coleman?”
Damage Control silently shake their heads.
Dave Dymond steps into the hallway, and we can see the figure of Akuma Satsui behind him. Satsui is wearing street clothes, including a dark blue hoodie, with the hood up.
Suddenly a young boy runs up. He can’t be any more than 16 years old, and he is wearing a bright yellow shirt with “EVENT STAFF” emblazoned across the front and back, and a backstage pass around his neck.
Before the boy can even speak, Dave Dymond sees him, screams in fear, and leaps behind Akuma Satsui. For a moment we can’t even see Dymond, but then he slowly pokes his head out from behind Satsui and looks at the boy suspiciously.
“Who are you? What are you doing here? What do you want? Go away. You’re fired.”
Dave Dymond disappears behind Akuma Satsui again.
The boy looks confused, and looks at the impressive sight of Damage Control standing in front of Satsui with their arms folded across their chests, and then at Akuma Satsui who is standing behind them.
“There’s a phone call for you, Mr. Dymond.”
Dymond pokes his head out again.
“Phone call? What phone call? I’m not expecting any phone call. I don’t know anybody who would be calling me. I don’t trust you. Who are you? Go away. You’re fired.”
The boy looks even more confused.
“The call is from Japan, sir.”
Dave Dymond straightens up.
“Oh. That phone call. Well, alright then. Lead the way. Clubber, Stomper, you’re with me.”
Dymond looks at Akuma Satsui.
“Satsui-san, you stay here. We’ll be back in a minute. Don’t eat anybody.”
Akuma Satsui doesn’t even look up, he simply nods.
Dave Dymond (flanked by both members of Damage Control) walks away, following the boy. They disappear from the shot, leaving only Akuma Satsui standing in the hallway.
Akuma Satsui reaches into the pocket of his jacket, and pulls out a wooden stick, and his butterfly knife. Satsui starts to whittle away at the pointed end of the wooden stick with his knife.
In the distance, we hear the sound of a door opening. The shot widens and we see another dressing room door with a sign reading: “Project: SCAR.”
The door opens, and the massive Isaac Entragian appears. The albino wears a white vest, white slacks, and bleached rattlesnake skin boots. Entragian starts to walk down the hall, when he sees Akuma Satsui standing in front of Dymond’s dressing room door.
Isaac Entragian freezes, and just stares at Akuma Satsui.
Satsui senses that somebody is looking at him, and he turns. As soon as he sees Entragian, he flips his hood back, and stares back at Entragian. Satsui turns toward Entragian, and Entragian takes a couple of steps forward, so the two men are now literally standing directly in each other’s paths.
There is total silence. Akuma Satsui stares up at Isaac Entragian, and Isaac Entragian looks down at Akuma Satsui. At first, neither man has any expression whatsoever on his face.
The silence is broken by a low, rumbling, growling sound. It sounds like some sort of animal about to attack, and slowly we understand that the noise is coming from Akuma Satsui.
Akuma Satsui’s lips curl back and he bares his teeth at Entragian. The strange growling, hissing sound continues for a long moment, while the two just stare at each other.
Finally, for the first time ever since his arrival in SHOOT Project, Akuma Satsui…
His voice is deep, and more like a guttural growl than anything else.
Satsui looks Entragian up and down.
“When I young boy, growing up in village in northern mountains of Japan, whenever child get sick, whenever somebody young die, the elders of village blame monster. They say Hakukakotai Akki do these things. They say Hakukakotai Akki evil. Stories say Hakukakotai Akki is Albino Demon. They say that Hakukakotai Akki live in the forest, come into village at night. They say Hakukakotai Akki kill with fear. All children in village fear Hakukakotai Akki. Hide under beds. Cry. Very afraid.”
Akuma Satsui shakes his head slowly.
“Not me. I go into forest in middle of night. I look for Albino Demon, but never find him. Not afraid. Not afraid when just a boy.”
Akuma Satsui slowly looks Isaac Entragian up and down and utters one final sentence.
“Not afraid now.”
The Ivory Terror has remained silent all this time, but finally his silence is broken by a shark-toothed grin, his forked tongue slipping out to lick the tips of his razor teeth.
Entragian: “Quite a story, Akuma. Sounds like you were a very brave boy. And a very foolish boy, too…”
Isaac takes another step closer, his white hair hanging about his face as he inhales deeply through his nostrils, taking in the scent of the man-beast that stands before him.
Entragian: “But alas, you’re right. I don’t smell fear on you. I smell bestial rage accompanied by a smidge of inner darkness. I smell…a leash-bound creature that needs to LEARN exactly what fear TASTES like…”
Entragian takes another step forward, looking down into the ferocious face of Satsui. A poisonous snarl has taken up residence on Isaac’s face, his liquid green eyes pulsating with the boiling madness that corrupts his mind.
Entragian: “How about a lesson?”
The silence falls between the two men again, but now the tension is growing by the second. Akuma Satsui and Isaac Entragian inch closer to each other, both men’s expressions menacing.
In the distance, a high pitch shriek can be heard.
The shot widens, and we see Dymond sprinting down the hall, as fast he can. Damage Control are following, but Dave Dymond is faster. As he runs, Dymond is shaking his head, and repeating the same phrase over and over again…
“SATSUI,NO! NO SATSUI! NO NO NO NO NO NO NO! NO SATSUI!”
Dave Dymond arrives on the scene and inserts himself between Akuma Satsui and Isaac Entragian. Dymond faces Entragian and beams widely, looking like a used car salesman.
“Mr. Entragian, what a pleasure! I can’t even begin to tell you what a big fan I am of your work! Absolutely magnificent!”
Dave Dymond extends his hand for a handshake, but Entragian just stares at Dymond, as if he is some sort of bug. Dave Dymond continues to grin, but withdraws his hand.
“Yes, well – I can see you’re busy, so we won’t take up any more of your time. It was wonderful to meet you. Let’s do it again some time.”
Dymond turns to Akuma Satsui, who is still staring at Isaac Entragian. Dave Dymond points at Satsui and motions toward Damage Control, who appear and start to physically pull Akuma Satsui away from Isaac Entragian.
Dave Dymond and Damage Control literally pull Akuma Satsui into their dressing room, and as the door swings shut, we can hear Dave Dymond screaming at Akuma Satsui.
“What the HELL are you doing? What’s wrong with you? Have you lost your MIND?”
The door to Dave Dymond’s dressing room closes, and for a long moment, Isaac Entragian stands and stares at the closed door. Finally, he turns and walks away, his face expressionless.
The shot returns to the arena.
We cut to Tanya Black’s dressing room door, with "Daredevil" Dina Bryce standing outside, dressed in her street clothes. She raps on the door loudly.
Tanya: Come on in. If you aren’t invited I got a lead pipe for you!
Dina steps inside … cautiously.
Dina: Sounds like an invitation to me! How ya doin’, you crazy bitch?
Tanya looks up and smiles
Tanya: That’s the Bitch Killer. And I’m doing fine. About to go do my thing in the ring!
Dina pulls up a chair and sits facing Black.
Dina: I saw what ya did in The Circuit… nobody can tell me you aren’t as tough as any guy in this company. Go smack some sense into that dinosaur!
Tanya: Psh. What I have done so far in SHOOT is nothing. I’m still shaking off the ring rust after being in "retirement" for so long. But that does have to do with why I called you out here. I know it’s a long flight from Minnesota but you’ll love this.
Dina sits up, wide-eyed.
Dina: Now you’ve got me intrigued, lady. What are you cookin’ up here?
Leaning in closer to Dina, Tanya smirks wickedly.
Tanya: Well in order for me to get Stan in the ring for a one-on-one encounter I had to agree to also give him a chance in his territory. Tag Team Wrestling. So at Revolution 75 I need a tag partner and you need an excuse to get back on television and show the suits what you can do in the ring. Get it?
A big grin crosses Dina’s face.
Dina: So, Black and Bryce against the Gunslingers? Daredevil and Bitch-Killer versus the Wrasslin’ Cowboys? I like the sound of this. Give me a chance to shake off some of the ring rust…
Tanya: Exactly. It’s a win-win scenario. Even if we lose, well so what? It will be fun, and no one will blame us as the Gunslingers are an "experienced team". So for tonight your assignment is to study this one-on-one match real closely so you can know just how to beat Stan. Is that clear, Darling?
Dina raises an eyebrow.
Dina: "Darlin’"? Really? I’ll be watchin’ him Tan, don’t you worry… only thing you’ve gotta worry about is whether you can keep up with me when we tag!
Dina sticks her tongue out with a smile to show she’s just messing around.
Dina: Seriously, I’ve got your back. Rev 75, you and me. Is it a date?
Dina extends her hand. Tanya stands up and shakes Dina’s hand, smiling evilly.
Tanya: Trust me. In the ring or in the bedroom I can keep up with anybody and I always end up on top. Now be a good girl and either get me something to drink or help me change for my match. This ain’t ring gear you know!
Tanya laughs as she poses in her jeans and t-shirt. For her part, Dina looks slightly uncomfortable as she stands up.
Dina: I’m flattered, hon, but I haven’t played that side of the field since a couple flings in college. I’ll leave ya to prepare in peace. Kick his arse, Tan, and good luck!
Tanya nods in respect but as Dina leaves Tanya reaches over and playfully swats her in the ass. Dina spins around with an indignant expression but before she can respond, Tanya Black shuts the door so she can change in peace.
Samantha Coil: This match is scheduled for one fall with a thirty minute time limit, introducing first from Boston, Massachusetts, former Sin City champion, TANYA BLACK!
You Don’t Know, You Just Don’t Know Me At All
The lights dim down for a moment and the video wall springs to life showing various images of men and women being laid out and taken out with one person being a constant. Seeing the video the fans begin to focus their excitement as the speakers spring to life.
As You Don’t Know Me continues to play sending a wave of excitement across the arena Tanya Black emerges out of the back singing along to the verses for a moment before walking to the ring shaking hands with the fans and giving a few hugs.
Having gotten to the ring Tanya stands in the middle of the ring and sings along to the song as it concludes, handing the belt off to the referee.
With that the song dies down as Tanya paces the ring and stretches, waiting for opponent.
Samantha Coil: Her opponent from Tulsa, Oklahoma is one half of The Gunslingers, STAN ERICHSON.
A series or gunshots is heard then Hillbilly Bone by Blake Shelton plays as Stan Erichson steps out from behind the curtain. Stan is wearing his black trunks with the silver revolver on the right side, and his black Stetson cowboy hat. As Stan climbs the ringside steps he takes off his hat and hangs it on the corner ring post. He wipes his feet off on the step and enters the ring.
Eryk Masters: This is our first time seeing Stan Erichson in singles action in SHOOT Project. He even asked his partner Jacob to stay in the back for this match.
Other Guy: Stan knows he’s going to make short work of Tanya so there is no reason for Jacob to be out here asking Stan to take it easy.
Tanya and Stan meet in the center of the ring and the ref calls for the bell. The two circle looking for the best opportunity to make the first strike.
Eryk Masters: Tanya is giving up almost a foot in height and weighs less than half what Stan does.
Other Guy: She asked for this, she knew what she was getting into and now she has to deal with it.
Tanya rushes in and throws some kicks to Stan’s knees. Stan swats her away and then grabs her arm and than whips her into the ropes. Tanya rebounds and delivers a dropkick to Stan’s left shoulder putting him off his balance. She follows up quickly with a second dropkick and Stan falls to the mat.
Eryk Masters: Great strategy from Tanya. She may be giving up a lot, but every opponent gets smaller when they are face down on the mat.
Other Guy: Tanya is going to have to keep on Stan with that speed, because once he catches her this is all over.
Tanya drops an elbow into Stan’s back and than as Stan gets to his feet she attempts to whip him into the ropes, but Stan doesn’t budge. Instead he uses his weight advantage to pull Tanya to him and lifts her up executing a body slam tossing her high into the air to make the impact even more devastating. He than picks her up on his shoulders and starts spinning around.
Other Guy: I told you, Stan got tired of playing around with Tanya already. He’s going to spin her until she pukes than hit her with the branding iron polish hammer. He didn’t even need Jacob here, that kid is trying to make this grizzled old vet soft, and i think I prefer him as the mean old bastard.
Eryk Masters: Rumor has it that Jacob isn’t even here, that Stan asked him to stay at the hotel just so he wouldn’t feel motivated to come down and help Tanya or Stan may he need it.
At about the fourth rotation Tanya is able to slip off Stan’s back. She sends both of her feet into Stan’s ass and with him being off balance from doing the airplane spin he stumbles forward through the ropes to the outside. Tanya gets to her feet regains her balance and slides out of the ring. She sends a knee into Stan’s back and than climbs up on the guardrail and poses for the fans. After a moment she runs across the guardrail and goes for a diving lariat but Stan catches her out of the air and locks in a bearhug and turns around and slams her back first into the ring post.
Stan slides into the ring and right back out to break up the ref’s count. Tanya is slumped against the ring post and Stan rushes towards her with a shoulder tackle, but Tanya rolls out of the way and Stan slams his left shoulder into the steel ring post.
Other Guy: Stan may have separated his shoulder right there, that did not look good.
Eryk Masters: Tanya thought quick, if she hadn’t moved this could be over.
Tanya pushes Stan back into the ring and sits him up in the corner. Tanya takes a few steps back and then runs forward and jumps hitting Stan with a bronco buster, slamming her pelvis into his face. after she bucks the third time Stan leans forward and attempts to bite. Tanya jumps back before Stan can sink his teeth into anything.
Eryk Masters: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but did Stan attempt to bit Tanya’s crotch?
Other Guy: You have to admit that’s probably the most action he’s had in years, not to mention rubbing it in his face like that she was asking for it.
Tanya waves her finger no at Stan, and then yanks the big man up by his injured left arm. Tanya yanks on the left arm and Stan pulls back in pain. Tanya rushes at Stan, but he moves and whips her into the ropes. Stan goes for the big boot, but Tanya slides under his leg pops up and hits a stunner. Tanya drops and hooks the leg for a cover.
Tanya shakes her head in disbelief and she attempts to send a kick to Stan’s shoulder, but he catches her foot and gets to his feet. He pulls her in and sends an elbow to her forehead sending her to the mat. He quickly follows up dropping to deliver a headbutt.
Eryk Masters: Stan has been using his size to his advantage every chance he gets, and while Tanya has done all she can to counter it, it may be too much for her to over come.
Stan gets up and rubs his left shoulder and waits for Tanya to get to her feet. He than starts winding up his right arm getting ready for the lariat. The crowd starts to boo and Stan looks out to the crowd for a second than shrugs it off.
Other Guy: Crowd seems to be booing Stan, but Tanya asked for this and Stan is just doing what he always does, whatever it takes to win.
Eryk Masters: The crowd isn’t booing Stan, it appears we have visitors. VAS are now making their way to ringside.
Stan hasn’t noticed the arrival of VAS as he is focused on Tanya getting to her feet and when she does he bounces off the ropes and levels her with a vicious lariat with his good arm, as Tanya does a complete 360 from the momentum and lands face first on the mat.
Other Guy: It looks like Stan may have just proven his point as it looks he may have just knocked Tanya out.
Eryk Masters: Stan was about to go for the cover when he noticed Ray & Jay at ringside.
Other Guy: Go for the pin than worry about them, it’s only 3 seconds.
Ray hops up on the left side of the apron to get Stan’s attention as Jay hops up on the right and reaches for Stan’s black Stetson hat, but Stan sees him and charges towards him. The crowd lets out a cheer as we see Crimson Riot run down the ramp. Jay grabs the hat before Stan can get to him, but than sees the Garcia brothers. Jay puts on the hat and him and Ray go to make an exit through the crowd Stan and the Garcia brothers follow after. As Jay is trying to run through the crowd the hat falls off. Meanwhile in the ring the ref starts to count Stan out. Logan grabs the black Stetson hat and hands it to Stan and points back towards the ring and says we got this. Crimson Riot continues to chase after VAS as Stan runs hops the guardrail and slides back into the ring as the ref reaches 9. Stan gets to his feet still holding the black Stetson hat. Tanya is still on the mat, but seems to be shaking the cobwebs loose.
Eryk Masters: Stan almost lost the match right there via count out. VAS seems to have a thing for taking things that aren’t theirs, or maybe it’s just they want to take other peoples most treasured items. The hat means a lot to Stan, we may not know why, but he was fully winning to get counted out to get it back.
Other Guy: That hat better be important he wasted a big advantage, but hell Tanya still seems to not have gotten her senses back after that solid lariat.
Stan walks past Tanya who is attempting to get to her feet. Stan goes to the farthest corner from where VAS entered the crowd and puts the black Stetson hat back on the ring post. As he turns around Tanya is on her feet and pulls Stan forward and hits a front russian leg sweep smashing Stan’s injured arm and shoulder into the mat in the center of the ring. She locks int eh cross face and after a moment is able to grab the arm and fully lock in the crossface/armbar combo she lovingly refers to as Tap Out, Bitch!
Other Guy: Tanya may have well been completely knocked out by that lariat a few minutes ago, we don’t know for sure, but with that distraction by VAS she had plenty of time to come to her sense and rest, or she may have just been playing possum. Either way she went right after that injured shoulder and arm and now has that crippler crossface locked in.
Eryk Masters: Stan is trying everything he can do to to try and pull Tanya towards the ropes, but that shoulder is hurt pretty bad.
Stan inches towards the ropes as he shakes his head at the ref refusing to give up. His his fingers are inches away from the ropes when Tanya stands up and literally drags the man twice her size by his bad arm back into the center of the ring and drops a quick elbow into the shoulder blade and locks the Tap Out, Bitch crossface in a second time. Tanya may be light but she puts all her weight into not only pulling back on the neck but applying pressure to the shoulder blade. Stan screams out in pain and makes one more attempt to reach for the ropes before tapping out.
As soon as Stan taps Tanya immediately lets go of the hold as the ref calls for the bell.
Samantha Coil: The winner of the match at a time of 18 minutes 37 seconds, TANYA BLACK!
The crowd cheers and Tanya goes to the corner and climbs to the top turnbuckle and plays up to the crowd. Stan slowly gets to his feet rubbing his left shoulder holding his arm close to his chest.
Eryk Masters: Stan doesn’t seem to happy about the loss, and he’s staring at Tanya playing up to the crowd.
Other Guy: If he would of kept his mind on Tanya and not his hat he may be the one celebrating right now.
Tanya hops down from the ropes and turns around to be face to face with Stan. Tanya tenses up not sure which way this might go, when Stan extends his good arm and offers a handshake. Tanya shakes his hand. Stan makes the handshake quick then exits the ring and leaves Tanya to celebrate. Stan quickly makes his way to the back favoring his left arm as Tanya celebrates ringside with the fans.
Alex Brooks is standing in front of a locker room door, backstage at the Coca Cola Dome. He reaches up and raps his knuckles against the door. A muffled noise is heard in the locker room, but no answer appears forthcoming so Alex knocks on the door once again.
Jackman: Yeah? Come in.
Alex opens the door cautiously and steps inside
Brooks: Hi, Mr. Jackman. I just wanted to say that I wasn’t going to let you down tonight.
Jackman looks down on the smaller man.
Jackman: Don’t worry about letting me down. Just take care of yours and I’ll take of mine and everything else will take care of itself.
Brooks: I will do my best for you, Mr. Jackman.
Jackman: Sure. Great. Anything else?
Brooks: I suppose not.
Jackman: Then… I’ll see you out there.
Alex Brooks backs out of the locker room as Jackman closes the door and we cut away.
uddenly the sound of a beating heart travels through the Coca Cola Dome, a sinister thump that rocks the arena speakers with each pound. Darkness descends, and a harsh red strobe light bathes the head of the ramp in crimson illumination.
Eryk Masters: The whole vibe of this arena just changed, you can FEEL it. When THEY come, the masses seem almost to tremble…
Other Guy: They’re fearmongers, Eryk. They feed off the disdain, and when it comes to inspiring terror, these boys are GLUTTONS…
“Obscure” by Dir En Grey serenades their arrival, screaming vocals and ragged guitars.
A single line of text crawls across the SHOOT Project video wall, written in blood smeared against taut flesh.
Two soulless men step out into the scarlet glow, both with championship belts draped over their shoulders.
SCAR’s Black Death, Adrian Corazon, stands to the left, the Laws of Survival Championship on full display. SCAR’s Pale Rider, Isaac Entragian, stands to the right, the Iron Fist Championship held against one gigantic shoulder.
Corazon’s long black hair obscures his face, dark wrap-around glasses keeping his eyes concealed as well. The ghost of a smirk touches the edge of his mouth, his head twisting around as the fans unleash verbal DIGUST for the individuals standing before them.
This seems to delight Entragian, his mouth stretched up into a crocodilian smile, his eyes gleaming with the dementia that rules his mind. He pushes his wavy white hair back with one hand, throwing up his hands and mouthing the word “MORE” in a totally perverse gesture.
Eryk Masters: Would you LISTEN to this crowd? Apparently Africa finds SCAR just as loathsome as the rest of the world does.
Adrian & Isaac begin to walk down the ramp, their pace slow and methodical, before both men finally climb into the ring while snatching up microphones on the outside. The arena sounds like a zoo at this point, negativity being rained down from EVERYWHERE on the SCAR soldiers.
Isaac Entragian: That’s right, SCREAM! Cry, roar, bellow…beat your insolent little fists against your thighs, scream until your vocal cords ROT IN YOUR FUCKING THROATS!
Isaac’s eyes look damn near feverish, spittle flying from his lips as he speaks, yet on the drop of a dime the rage vanishes, replaced by a look of strange composure.
Isaac Entragian: It won’t change things. It won’t change the fact that my brother and I are now SHOOT Project CHAMPIONS! And is anyone really surprised? We told ALL of you that in time, our taint would sour the ground this company was built on…we warned you that defilement was on it’s way.
An eerie grin eclipses Isaac’s face, his eyes momentarily rolling back to the whites.
Isaac Entragian: And feast your eyes on US now, festooned in the titles your precious HEROES couldn’t protect, the titles your saviors were POWERLESS to defend. It’s official, SCAR is now the black heart beating within the ribcage of SHOOT Project, and with each passing week, the beat of that heart grows stronger, the blood grows thicker…our influence…spreads…
Isaac places one pallid hand on the back of Adrian’s neck, his glassy green eyes sweeping across the thousands in attendance.
Corazon: As I look throughout the crowd, I see disgust… I see disdain… I see DISRESPECT. We stand before you now as CHAMPIONS. CHAMPIONS of this project… BEACONS of our own success. Isaac Entragian and Adrian Corazon cast shadows over the masses… over the light of the SHOOT Project Soldiers…
Corazon smirks, slowly walking around the ring, seeming to make eye contact with every single fan he possibly can.
Corazon: We have done what we said we would do! I ruined Mike Dexter, and I did so in horrendously gorgeous fashion! Isaac Entragian disposed of the FORMER Iron Saint… DISPOSED OF LENNOX FERGUSON. He takes the reigns as the KING OF THE IRON FIST. A moniker I wore not all that long ago. I feel great comfort… great ease… knowing that he stands as a champion… as an ICON. And here I stand… the ultimate survivor… SCAR’s Black Death…
He holds up the Laws of Survival Championship, showing that the smiley face he painted it with stains the golden exterior.
Corazon: And now… NOW, SHOOT PROJECT… Our reign commences… we do not rest on our laurels… Project: SCAR sets their eyes upon the World Tag Team Championships… Sets our eyes upon the hapless wayfaring souls that absent mindedly walk on our hallowed grounds… and in doing so, we will continue to educate you all… continue to leave scorched earth in our wake… and CONTINUE to cast our shadow.
He looks towards Isaac Entragian, and smiles.
Corazon: We will continue to reign.
Isaac favors his blood-brother with a poisonous grin, holding the microphone in the crook of his elbow for a moment as he applauds the Brutal & Inhuman.
Isaac Entragian: We’ll reign in fire, we’ll reign in blood, we’ll reign until that fucking locker room stands HUMBLED before us, kneeling, squabbling…begging for even the barest hint of mercy…
Entragian’s eyes fall to the mat, then they slowly rise, his barrel chest shaking as a chuckle emerges.
Isaac Entragian: Mercy. HAH. Not in SCAR’s vocabulary. BUT…if you want to see merciless? Watch Kenji tonight in the Main Event. Watch the Sociopath Pioneer RIP his way through the competition, and I sincerely hope you fetid people WEEP…at the fucking sight.
Adrian claps the monster on the back, Corazon & Isaac exchanging repulsive grins as the crowd bears down on them with contempt from ALL sides. We fade out on the image of SCAR standing tall, bedecked in the gold of fallen heroes.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen… the following match is scheduled for one fall… and it is your TAG TEAM… MAIN EVENT!
The fans of Johannesburg clap appreciatively for this announcement. Moments later, the lights flare back on and "Learn to Fly" by the Foo Fighters floods over the Coca-Cold dome. The crowd roars with cheers as Alex Brooks stands a top the entrance ramp, soaking in the love of the fans.
Samantha Coil: Coming down to the ring first, from Denver, Colorado… weighing in at 165lbs… he is the current reigning RULE OF SURRENDER CHAMPION…ALLLLLEEEEEXXXXX BROOOOOOKS!
Alex zigzags back and forth down the entrance ramp making sure to tag hands with every fan he can. Once Alex gets down to ringside he hops up onto the ring apron, and with his back against the ropes and his arms cradled around them, he stares out at the sea of fans all paying him respect. Brooks smiles at this and nods his head before stepping into the ring. Cracking his neck and looking pumped for a fight, Alex patiently awaits his tag team partner to make his way down.
Eryk Masters: Alex is looking a little more ready for battle than he did at Salvation.
Other Guy: As much as I don’t want to, I agree with that. He does look pretty stoked to be in that ring.
As Brooks bounces in place with his hands raised in the air, acknowledging his fans in Johannesburg, the audience screams even louder in anticipation for the number one contender to Cade Sisal’s SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Title. "Thickfreakness" by the Black Keys bursts through the speakers and the Coca-Cola dome erupts.
Samantha Coil: And his tag team partner… from Austin, Texas! Weighing in at 283 pounds! He is BENNNNNNNNNNN "The Blackout" JAAAAAAAAAAAACKMANNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!
Ben Jackman steps out from the back with his fists taped up. His black biker shorts trimmed in red, his black boots with red laces, he starts to make his way down the ring with a look of determination on his face, along with a smile for the appreciation he’s shown on his way down, pointing out at all of the Jackman signs in the crowd as he makes his way down the ramp.
Other Guy: Listen to all these jack-offs!
Eryk Masters: Wait, did you just say… JACK-OFFS?!
Other Guy: Uh… yeah?
Eryk Masters: Gold.
Other Guy: I don’t understand.
Eryk Masters: Think about it.
Other Guy: I am… still don’t get it.
Eryk Masters: Ben JACKMAN… and his JACK-OFFS!
Other Guy: Oh God. I can see the "I’M A JACK-OFF!" t-shirts already.
Eryk Masters: Kids everywhere gettin’ suspended.
Other Guy: Grandmas everywhere faintin’.
Eryk Masters: Like I said… GOLD.
Jackman throws his arms out as he walks up the steps and quickly steps into the ring, throwing his arms out wide again he grins as he soaks in the cheers. His music slowly fades out, and the smile fades with it.
The Coca-Cold Dome goes to complete darkness, and the sound of a heartbeat blasts through the arena speakers. This, followed by a throb of white lighting at timed intervals every few seconds, sends portions of the crowd into a panic. The sound of the tragic violin and guitar that starts "DIM Scene" by the GazettE haunts the arena. The words "PROJECT: SCAR" appears on the SHOOT Project Video Wall, and the letters remain covered in blood and gristly meat as they have been in recent weeks. The violin and guitar slowly pick up, haunting ever still. Finally they climax as another guitar slams into its main rift, the lights turn completely on for but a second, then fade until they is only one spotlight shining on the entrance ramp, shining on Kenji Yamada.
Samantha Coil: Now making his way to the ring, representing Project: SCAR, he hails from Kyoto, Japan… KENJI YAAAAAAMAADA!
Kenji stalks to the ring, oblivious of the thunderous boos that come from all sides of the Coca-Cola Dome.
The spotlight follows Kenji into the ring, but he doesn’t pose. He doesn’t even raise his hand as he walks to his corner, He simply sits with his back against the turnbuckle, and with his cold blue eyes staring at the Rule of Surrender Champion… the music is cut off by a familiar verse.
I can almost taste it…
Other Guy: Oh my God, me too!
The lights drop on a dime and the fans launch their venom.
It makes no sense to me…
What does it all mean?!
A spotlight slowly comes to a stop on the top of the ramp.
Eryk Masters: I don’t know which entrance I hate more. This one or The Hierarchy’s.
Other Guy: Oh my God. Imagine if they CONJOINED INTO ONE SUPER ENTRANCE?!
Eryk Masters: We’d need a third show.
I can almost taste it…
I can almost see it!
It makes no sense to me…
What does it all mean?!
I can almost taste it…
I just wanna be famous!
You dream of trading places
I have been changing faces
You can not fill these shoes
There is too much to lose
I wake up behind these trenches
You run around defenseless
There is too much to lose
You can not fill these shoes
I just wanna be famous but…
Be careful what you wish for…
"Almost Famous" by Eminem (featuring Lisa Rodriguez) continues pumping through the Coca-Cola dome and the current reigning SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Champion Cade Sydal steps through the curtains with Cassi Ryan right by his side. They stop at the top of the entrance ramp, and it is there that Cade grabs Cassi’s hand. The boos shower them like a warm confetti as the couple slowly lift their hands in the air. Sparkling gold pyro cascades from the heavens above behind the couple, adding an even greater glint to the champion’s gold. From the top of the ramp down to the ringside area, Cassi acts like she’s going to blow the crowd kisses… but pulls her hand back and thrusts her palm out at the crowd in utter disrespect.
With a microphone in Cassi’s hand and the SHOOT Project World Heavyweight Title hugging Cade’s sexy waist, the music soon dies down.
Cassi Ryan: I’m gonna make it simple tonight, drones of the Coca-Cola dome. Johannesburg sucks, and Pepsi has more flavor, my man’s the World Champion and his triumph never waivers.
Cassi looks at Cade and asks him if it was okay. Cade nods, and Cassi beams.
Cassi Ryan: Hey, it’s not my best… but it’s still a welcome gift to this tone deaf septic tank! Anyway… you know the drill… I give to you all… the superior athlete, the ultimate champion! Your great hero and the inspiration of your dreams… and of course mine!
They continue booing Cassi, but she raises her voice even louder.
Cassi Ryan: Weighing in at 174 pounds, from Southport, North Carolina! He is the MOST… DECORATED… MAN… IN ALL OF WRESTLING!!! HE IS THE PIN-UP POSTER IN ALLAH’S PARADISE… HE IS THE RAY OF SUNLIGHT THAT SHINES DOWN ON BUDHA’S BELLY… HE IS GOD’S FAVORITE WRESLTER… HE IS THE TWO-TIME HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION… OF… SHOOT PROJECT… AND OF THE FREAKING WORLD….. CAAAAAAAAAAAADE…. SYYYYYYDALLLLLLLLLLLLLL!
Samantha Coil gets out of the ring as Tony Lorenzo motions for Jackman and Brooks to remain in their respective corners. Sydal unbuttons the title from his waist and hands it to Cassi Ryan, who in return gives him a hard peck on the cheek, purposely planting a bright red dab of lipstick on his cheek. Cade smirks from ear to ear, and looks up at Jackman who looks unimpressed with Sydal and Ryan’s antics.
Other Guy: After that epic entrance, I have to say… Cassi has outdone herself on the mic. That little rap verse? Marshall WHO?!
Eryk Masters: It was ridiculous, as always. Jackman looks ready to pound Cade’s face into a peach-colored mush. And even Brooks looks a little enthused for a brawl.
Other Guy: He’s not gonna be "enthused" for very long when Kenji gets his hands on him.
As the bell sounds, Alex Brooks bounces in place with his eyes dead-locked on Cade Sydal who still stands outside of the ring with the lipstick imprint on his cheek. Smirking at Brooks, Cade hops up onto the apron and climbs into the ring, telling Kenji that he’s going to start things off.
As he slowly saunters towards Brooks, Cade looks back at Kenji for reassurance. Kenji remains apathetic, though, and just stares a hole through the Rule of Surrender Champion; much in the same way Ben Jackman does the World Heavyweight Champion.
Eryk Masters: This is like an emotional Mexican stand-off.
Other Guy: Yeah I- wait… a WHAT?
Eryk Masters: Look at all of their eyes! Each of them are focused directly on someone. Ready to kill at a moment’s notice. All but… Cade Sydal. Our World Heavyweight Champion, of course.
Other Guy: Interesting note, I suppose.
Having enough of the theatrics, Brooks advances towards Cade in a hunkered down position, looking for a simple amateur wrestling take-down. Cade stuffs the attempt though, and hooks his arms around Brooks’. Flinging him nastily with an arm drag, Brooks surprises the lightning quick veteran with some lightning quick, cat-like reflexes of his own by landing on his feet.
Looking surprised, Cade moves in for a similar takedown attempt that Brooks tried moments earlier. Actually lifting Brooks into the air for a moment, Cade looks out at the crowd with an arrogant Cheshire cat grin.. Holding him in the air, as if to show-off his "strength", Cade shouts something inaudible to the cameras. Just as he does this, Brooks locks in a guillotine headlock in mid-air and the crowd EXPLODES!
Other Guy: Lord almighty, he locked it in already!!
Eryk Masters: That’s the same move Brooks used to put away X-Calibur for the Rule of Surrender title!
Cade’s eyes are wide with absolute horror as Brooks begins to choke the life out of him. Searching for the ropes, he comes up empty. Panicking, Cade drops to his knees, trying to wriggle free of Brooks’ vice-like grip. Just as Brooks begins tightening the move even further though, Kenji Yamada springboards to the top rope, leaps, coils his legs inwards, and a millisecond before the landing he kicks outward square into Brooks’ jaw with terrifying precision.
So precise, in fact, that an incisor tooth from Alex Brooks’ mouth goes flying across the ring.
Eryk Masters: Oh my GOD… was that a…?!
Other Guy: Indeed it was, E. Ugh… that’s disgusting.
The whole crowd is STUNNED at the force of Kenji’s springboard dropkick, and as the SHOOTron zooms in for a close-up of the bloody incisor laying in the middle of the ring, the crowd unleashes a loud chant.
Eryk Masters: Thank you production truck for giving us all a close-up of something WE DIDN’T NEED TO SEE UP CLOSE.
Other Guy: Good God. Look at that tooth. Brooks really should floss more.
Eryk Masters: Stop.
Recovering from the guillotine choke Brooks had him in, Cade looks at Brooks’ bloodied mouth and then back at Kenji. Heaving a relieved chuckle, Cade gives his partner a thumbs up. Just when he was about to go on the attack, though, Kenji slaps Cade on the back and tags himself in. Looking perplexed for a moment, Cade simply shrugs and exits through the ropes while Kenji almost salivates at the prone Brooks holding his aching mouth.
Eryk Masters: This isn’t going to be pretty. Not to sound cliché, but Kenji Yamada is like a shark. A playful shark looking to torture his prey with the scent of blood resonating in his nose.
Other Guy: Yeah, and Jaws looks pretty hungry.
With Brooks writhing in pain on the mat, Kenji brings him to his feet. Like a surgeon looking for an opening in the flesh, Kenji steps back a foot and throws a roundhouse kick up into Brooks’ jaw. Brooks goes down hard, clutching his jaw in agony. Jackman, meanwhile, outstretches his hand to Brooks, looking for the tag.
Other Guy: Oh hey. It’s Jackman.
Ben Jackman has yet to be tagged into this match. Watching Brooks’ face being systematically dissected, one has to wonder if he’s getting a little anxious watching from the sidelines.
Shooting Jackman a glare, Kenji scoffs at the notion of wanting to be tagged in. Picking Brooks up by the back of his head, Kenji whips him into the ropes. On the rebound, Kenji jumps in the air with a spinning roundhouse kick that nearly connects, but Brooks is savvy enough to avoid the collision by rolling through with a hand outstretched. Jackman swipes Brooks’ hand for the tag, and the arena becomes unglued as the much bigger Ben Jackman FINALLY climbs into the ring.
Eryk Masters: And there it is! Jackman’s finally in!
Other Guy: This shit just got a whole lot more intense.
Not wasting a single moment, Jackman swings a lazy lariat at Kenji that misses wide and far. His true intentions are quickly realized though as he continues charging into the ropes towards Cade. Before the World Champion can even brace for impact, the much larger Jackman crashes all of his body weight into Cade and sends him whooshing out towards the audience, landing sternum first on the guardrail.
Eryk Masters: Haha! I don’t think Cade was expecting that!
Other Guy: Why should he? Cade wasn’t even the legal man. Kenji is. There’s no reason for Jackman to attack Cade like that!
Eryk Masters: Oh, I can think of about a MILLION reasons why ANYONE would want to attack Cade.
Other Guy: Even Mama Sydal?
Eryk Masters: ESPECIALLY Mama Sydal.
As Cade clutches his sternum with both hands, Jackman exhibits a satisfied grin. With the number one contender distracted and facing Cade on the outside, Kenji uses this opportunity to jump to the second rope, springboard off, and twist in mid-air with a leg extended for a springboard flying roundhouse kick to the face. Jackman goes down hard, and Kenji drops to his knees beside Jackman. Glaring out at Alex Brooks, Kenji scoffs. Hooking a leg, Tony Lorenzo is right there to administer the count..
Jackman kicks out. Brooks picks himself up from the outside ring apron, clutching his bleeding mouth. Looking in at Kenji, though, Brooks’ face tells the story of a man who wants to retaliate.
Eryk Masters: Brooks’ mouth is an ungodly mess. He’s gonna need dental surgery after this match, no doubt about it.
Other Guy: Many an opponent has needed dental surgery after climbing into the ring with Kenji Yamada, I can assure you on that one.
After kicking out of the flying roundhouse, Jackman sits up, clutching his head. Giving Jackman plenty of space to get up, Kenji remains in a hunched down position with his dominant leg planted in the mat, ready to strike at a moment’s notice. Once Jackman is up, Kenji throws a few stiff kicks to the ribs, and follows it up with a spin-kick to the bread basket that doubles over the man they call Blackout. Positioning Jackman’s heads between his legs for either a piledriver or powerbomb, Kenji attempts to hoist up the much larger man.
Eryk Masters: I don’t think that’s such a good idea, Kenji. Ben is no Brooks.
Other Guy: He manages to lift
After only managing to lift Jackman’s feet off the ground a little bit, he runs out of steam. With both feet planted on the mat, Jackman lifts up underneath Kenji’s body weight and straight THROWS him up into the air in an awkward looking back body drop with all of his upper body strength. Rather than flipping forward, however, Kenji’s body rolls backwards in mid-air. Seizing the opportunity while it presents itself, Jackman catches Kenji’s head on the way down and DROPS to the canvas with an extremely elevated and downright deadly DDT.
Eryk Masters: SHIT!! I think Kenji’s dead… that was SICK!!
Other Guy: I think Jackman tried for an elevated back body drop there, but he couldn’t quite get Kenji’s body to flip forward. It’s just as well he didn’t, though, because that DDT was disgusting. Kenji could be OUT here.
Hooking a leg, Jackman tries to end it. Lorenzo makes the count…
THR- Kenji gets a shoulder up!!
Eryk Masters: Jesus… I thought it was over right then and there.
Other Guy: It’s going to take a lot more than a fancy DDT to knock out Yamada. I can promise you that.
Eryk Masters: Yeah, just like I needn’t remind you of Jackman’s Iron Fist prowess and his uncanny ability to knock out the toughest of the tough.
Other Guy: Careful, E. Jackman may have knocked out many… but he’s never knocked out Kenji. Nor has he knocked out ANYONE in Project Scar, actually. Including the man who broke Jackman’s Iron Fist title record, Adrian Corazon.
As Jackman gets up, he looks to his corner where he sees Alex Brooks, sans tooth, holding out his hand for a tag into the ring. Looking amazed that the young kid actually wants to continue in the match, and better yet, actually wants more of Kenji, Jackman shrugs his shoulders and makes the tag.
Eryk Masters: Looks like Brooks wants a little payback for the missing tooth!
Other Guy: This isn’t smart. Brooks is just gonna lose an entire jaw if he attacks Kenji!
As Kenji shakes the cobwebs and slowly gets to his feet, Brooks jumps into the air and connects with a picture perfect standing dropkick that connects right on Kenji’s button. Without hesitation, the Rule of Surrender Champion hooks a leg..
Just as Kenji shoulders out, Cade Sydal rolls into the ring. Before Brooks can even get up though, Sydal greets him with several stiff kicks to the back and head. Jackman sees this and steps back into the ring, but before he can defend his tag team partner, Cade leaps forward and connects with a NASTY knee to Jackman’s nose, spilling him between the ropes and down to the outside mat.
Eryk Masters: What is Cade doing?! He’s not even the legal man right now!
Other Guy: Now look who’s all agog for fairness!
Jackman on the outside and Cade gears up for an aerial assault. Lorenzo admonishes the SHOOT World heavyweight Champion and motions for him to return to his corner. After Cade brushes off the referee’s warning, he runs into the ropes opposite of the side where Jackman is standing. But midway through Sydal’s return, Brooks leaps up, wraps his legs around his head, and flips him over the top rope and out of the ring with a hurricanrana.
Eryk Masters Thank God.
Other Guy: LOOK!
Brooks turns around and Kenji welcomes his attention with a thrust kick just below the ribcage. Dropping the Rule of Surrender champion to his knees, Kenji signals to the capacity crowd for something. Ripping up on Brooks’ head so that he’s standing again, Kenji then puts one of Brooks’ arms between his legs, in preparation for a pump handle slam. Lifting Brooks halfway up, Kenji then folds him forward ever-sp slightly. As rooks drops to the mat, Kenji drops a leg over Brooks’ throat. Holding Brooks’ far leg in place for the pin, the blood from Brooks’ missing tooth pours out onto his face, traveling up into his own nose. Lorenzo counts…
Eryk Masters: PROMINENT SCAR!
Other Guy: Brooks’ mouth is all sorts of fucked up. This one’s over…
THREE!!! NO!!! BROOKS KICKS OUT!!!
Eryk Masters: Brooks remains alive in this!!
Other Guy: I can’t believe this…
Appearing incredulous over Brooks’ will to survive, Kenji gets in Lorenzo’s face for a moment. After nodding his head as if to say, "That doesn’t happen again..", Kenji focuses back on Brooks. But at this point, Cade has made his way back over to his corner and demands that Kenji tags him in. Yelling at Kenji to make the tag, Cade outstretches his arm as far as the ropes allow him.
Eryk Masters: Looks like Cade finally wants to get back into this thing.
Other Guy: Yeah, and it looks like Kenji would rather he didn’t.
Nonplussed over Cade’s sudden insistence on being tagged in, Kenji gives Cade a stiff slap on his palm. Entering the ring, Cade waits for Brooks to try and stand up. Once he does, Cade runs forward in a leaping motion, steps up off of Brooks’ knee and connects a knee of his own right across his smashed mouth with a beautiful shining wizard.
Realizing it could be over, Jackman steps into the ring and shakes his head, "no". Without realizing Jackman had entered the ring, Cade looks back over at Kenji and bows with his hands clasped in prayer, happily smirking a thankful smirk. When Kenji face-palms on the outside, Cade realizes something is wrong… and turns around slowly. Stifling a laugh, Jackman boots Cade in the gut and bends him down between his legs in position for a powerbomb.
Signaling to the crowd for the Blackout Bomb, Jackman goes to heave Cade up when Cade drops to his stomach and rolls away, wanting absolutely nothing to do with Jackman and his devastating finishing maneuver. With Brooks stirring again, Jackman retreats to the outside corner. Getting to his feet once again, Cade looks over at Jackman back in his corner and just about laughs his ass off, thinking the number one contender is afraid of him.
Eryk Masters: Okay. Cade is a fucking moron.
Other Guy: Jackman is such a pussy. Look at him! He’s PETRIFIED!
While Cade talks trash to Jackman and "puts up his dukes", Brooks rolls Cade up from behind. Putting all of his body weight down on Cade, Johannesburg counts along in unison.
Eryk Masters: OH MY GOD, HE HAS HIM!!!
Other Guy: COME ON NOT LIKE THIS!!!
NO!!! CADE KICKS OUT AT THE LAST POSSIBLE SECOND!!!
Eryk Masters: CADE KICKS OUT!!! CADE KICKS OUT!!!!
Other Guy: Loooooorrrrrd that was close…..
Knowing how narrowly he just escaped defeat, Cade’s face turns a ghostly shade of Entragian white. Reaching up, Cade looks for a hand to tag Kenji in and the Project: Scar member obliges him by making the tag. As soon as he does, Cade rolls out of the ring, looking frustrated and completely scared out of his gourd from the Blackout Bomb that was seconds away from happening.
Bringing Brooks to his feet, Kenji whips him into the ropes. Unbeknownst to him, however, Brooks makes the blind tag to Jackman. Brooks continues running, ducking under a leapfrog from Kenji, and baseball slides Cade Sydal – whose eyes were peering just above the canvas’ apron – right in the kisser. Jackman re-enters and when Kenji lands on his feet from the leapfrog, Jackman thrusts forward with a straight big boot to the face that sends Kenji down on the mat flat on his back.
Eryk Masters: Lorenzo is losing control of this one, and fast!
Other Guy: No shit. WHAT THE…. WHAT IS BROOKS DOING?!
Climbing to the top rope with a mouth just oozing crimson, Brooks sets his sights on Cade Sydal, who is still trying to get up from the unanticipated baseball slide. A few moments later, once Cade has shaken away the cobwebs enough to stumble to his feet, Brooks stands completely still on the rope and measures Sydal up with his hands.
Eryk Masters: Oh Christ…
Other Guy: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh man…
In one breathtaking moment of reckless abandon, Brooks performs a back flip off of the top rope into a shooting star press. In mid-air, Brooks is unprepared to deal with Cade Sydal jumping up with his patented lightning quick enziguri, and eats a foot to the temple right before eating the padded cement flooring with the force of all of his body weight.
Eryk Masters: OH MY FUCKING GOD!!!!! NINJAGURAI!!! NINJAGURAI!!!
Other Guy: THE SHOOTING STAR WAS SHOT OUT OF THE SKY!!! JESUS MOTHER OF GOD!!!
As Brooks’ broken body lies motionless on the outside and Cade Sydal recovers from his own rough landing, Jackman brings Kenji up to his feet and knees him in the gut. Just when he places him between his legs, Cade rolls back into the ring… and right before he attempts to heave Kenji into the air for his Blackout Bomb, Cade spews a thick BLACK cloud of mist right in Jackman’s eyes before rolling out of the ring and jetting down the aisle towards the dressing room.
Eryk masters: SON OF A BITCH!!! MIST AND RUN!!! DAMN THAT CADE!!!
Other Guy: BLACK MIST!!! AWWW SHIT, NOW WHO’s THE BLACKOUT?!!!!
His eyes burning and blind, Jackman loses hold of Kenji and clutches at his charcoal painted face. Just as Kenji stands up, Jackman throws a wild and completely blind haymaker that doesn’t even come close to connecting. After ducking the haymaker, Kenji grabs the attacking arm of Jackman and twists it into a modified hammerlock. While holding Jackman’s arm in place, Kenji somersaults forward while simultaneously leg-sweeping. As Jackman rolls backwards from the leg-sweeping motion and his shoulders are trapped to the canvas from the hammerlock, Kenji presses down on Jackman’s near leg with his own, completing the pinning maneuver.
Eryk Masters: GANNOSUKE CLUTCH!!!
Other Guy: JACKMAN CAN’T MOVE!!
Eryk masters: HE GOT HIM!!!
The bell sounds and Kenji releases the rolling arm-trap cradle. "DIM Scene" by the GazettE creepily begins playing across the Coca-Cola dome, again.
Samantha Coil: Ladies and gentlemen… the winners of this match at a time of 26 minutes and 22 seconds… CAAAAAAAAAAADE SYYYDAL… AND KENJIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII YAAAAAAAAAMADAAAAAAAAAA!!!!